Sat 10 October 2020:
Microsoft will allow employees to work from home on a permanent basis even when offices reopen, according to internal guidance issued this week.
The company unveiled a plan for a ‘hybrid workplace’ that will allow employees greater flexibility on whether they return to working in an office full-time or not, The Verge reports.
Under this plan, employees will be allowed to work from home for less than 50 percent of the working week or request permanent remote work through their manager.
The vast majority of the software maker’s employees are still currently working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the company has said they would not reopen offices until at least January 2021.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to think, live and work in new ways,” human resources head Kathleen Hogan said in a note to employees obtained by The Verge.
“We will offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual work styles while balancing business needs and ensuring we live our culture.”
Not abandoning office work entirely
In a public blog post later in the day, Hogan said the company views employees spending less than 50 percent of their time working from home as “standard” but wasn’t abandoning office work entirely.
“We are not committing to having every employee work from anywhere, as we believe there is value in employees being together in the workplace,” Hogan wrote.
The Verge reported some employees won’t be eligible for remote-work arrangements, such as those who work in Microsoft’s labs or train other employees.
In its memo, the company co-founded by Bill Gates said it is possible for its workers to relocate across the United States or perhaps overseas, The Verge said.
Those that relocate may see their salaries change depending on where they go, and while the company will cover expenses for employees’ home offices, it won’t cover relocation expenses.
As of the end of June, Microsoft employed 163,000 people, 96,000 of them in the US, according to a securities filing.
Several of the world’s largest tech companies have said they will allow employees to work from home permanently once offices begin to reopen.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told The Verge that up to half if its employees could work remotely in the next five to ten years.
They are in the process of shifting tens of thousands of jobs to remote work.
Google has committed to keeping its 200,000 employees working from home until at least July 2021.